Post-nuptial agreements have only recently been recognised by the UK courts and should only be considered after taking thorough legal advice. In one case, a woman had her £2 million claim against her ex-husband dismissed after a judge ruled that she would have to live with a ‘post-nup’ which she had signed of her own free will.
The woman had accused her ex-husband of bullying her into signing the post-nup, which granted her sole ownership of the marital home and an investment property, as well as a 50 per cent share of his pension. In asking the family judge to award her an additional £2 million, she estimated her ex-husband’s worth at over £50 million. He had, however, offered to settle her claim for £200,000.
Ruling in the ex-husband’s favour, the judge rejected claims that he had exerted duress or undue ...
It may seem obvious that, when signing your will, you should carefully read it through to ensure that it accurately reflects your wishes. However, one man’s failure to do just that triggered a High Court dispute between his children and step-children.
The twice-married widower and RAF veteran owned a house valued at £145,000 and residual assets worth about £80,000. He executed a will more than 25 years before his death at the age of 88. On the face of it, the documents left his entire estate to his two step-children and disinherited his own two offspring.
His natural children launched proceedings, seeking rectification of his will. The step-children accepted that the will did not reflect his true wishes in respect of the house and that it should be inherited by his children. However, they argued that he had intended to leave ...